Lowering pH Levels
pH levels need to be within 6.8 – 7.2. 6.8 is the ideal level.
How does HIGH pH affect my pool?
A pH above 7.2 renders the copper a less effective sanitizer, which can lead to algae growth and other sanitation issues. A high pH can also lead to “copper fall out.” Copper fall out is when the copper falls out of its ION form and returns to a solid state. This can cause your pool water to appear blue in color and can also cause “plating.” Plating is when copper deposits itself to the surface of your pool causing bluish deposits. Thankfully, these deposits are not permanent.
Dropping your pH down to 6.8 (and maintaining a lower copper level of .5 ppm) will allow the copper to fall back into its desired ION form.
To Lower the pH Level:
- Fill a 5 gallon bucket about halfway with pool water. Then, add liquid muriatic acid to the bucket, creating a solution of about 2 parts water to one part acid.
- Walk around the pool gradually adding the acid/water solution evenly to the pool.
- Wait a day for the solution to mix thoroughly and then test the pH again. If the pH is still above 7.2, add another dose of acid/water solution.
Tips for pH management:
- The higher the pH is, the more acid is required, exponentially, to bring it down. Err on the side of using more acid to bring the pH down more quickly. The pH will always tend to correct itself upward if it does get too low.
- The trick to extreme stability is keeping the pH around 6.8 and not letting it get above 7.0.
- ECOsmarte only recommends using liquid muriatic acid or a product called “Acid Magic” to lower the pH. Never use dry acid, as it raises sodium levels in the pool.
Testing Copper Levels
Test the pH level first. Adjust pH to 6.8-7.2 if needed before testing Copper levels.
- With a clean, dry sample tube, take a sample of water about 18″ below the water – away from return jets and skimmers.
- Add 5 drops of Copper A to the tube, cap it, and turn it upside-down to mix.
- Add 5 drops of Copper B to the same tube, cap it, and turn it upside-down to mix.
- Wait three minutes.
- With the color chart on a flat surface, hold the tube about 1″ above the chart. Look down through the length of the tube and compare to the color chart.
- Record Results. The pool must have a copper level between .4 – .7ppm. On a 20,000 gallon pool, it takes, on average, 4 hours to move .1ppm and 12 hours to move .3ppm.
How does the pH of my pool affect my Copper Test?
A pH reading above 7.2 is going to give you a FALSE LOW copper reading, meaning you may have an optimum copper level even though the test says you do not.
Adjust the pH down below 7.2 (ideally 6.8) and retest the copper.
A pH reading below 6.8 is going to give you a FALSE HIGH copper reading, meaning you may not have an optimum copper level even though the test says you do.
Low pH will tend to correct itself on its own. However, you can adjust the pH up to 6.8 using baking soda.
How do Phosphates affect my pool and ECOsmarte System?
Phosphates are food for algae. Leaving or adding phosphates in the pool will cause recurrent algae blooms, which can lead to a green pool and can also cause cloudy water. Phosphates are in the water supplies now because of farm runoff, acid rain, and municipal water treatment. Whenever water is added to the pool, phosphates might also be added. Phosphates will inhibit your ECOsmarte system’s ability to generate copper. If you are struggling to raise copper, check for phosphates. Although your phosphate test that came with your ECOsmarte system tests for most phosphates, a digital phosphate test at your pool store (or the Micro 10 Digital Test kit for your home) can confirm the presence of phosphates that your home test cannot.
Use a phosphate removal product to eliminate phosphates.
If the phosphates are under 1000ppb
- Sea Klear Phosphate Remover
If the phosphates are over 1000ppb
- Sea Klear Phosphate Remover
If Calcium test results in calcium levels below 400ppm, add calcium chloride flakes to raise the hardness and to balance the pool. Calcium chloride flakes can be found at the pool store and places that make concrete. Make sure to get the flakes and not the pellets.
A very general rule of thumb is that 100lbs of calcium will raise the calcium level in a pool 20,000 gallon pool about 100 ppm. Add 50lb bags at a time and test in between each 50 lbs.
- Put 10lbs of calcium at a time in a pool leaf skimmer. Swish it around toward the middle of the pool until it dissolves. Repeat this process to add 50 – 100 lbs of calcium, often required at start-up or once a year.
- Wait a couple days before testing the water again to make sure the calcium is thoroughly mixed into the pool water.
- Retest the water.
- Repeat the process until the water is at least above 400ppm.
Calcium is very stable in the water and only drops if there is a lot of rain. Test after heavy storms and about every six months.
Whenever you have algae, start by running the pool 24hrs a day till the pool clears up.
Make Sure the Algaecide has NO COPPER. Ask the pool store for any algaecide with a 40 or 60 on the bottle. Algaecide Poly 60 is the most commonly used.
To eliminate algae
- Begin lowering the pH to 6.8 – 7.2. (Aim for 6.8)
- Apply 1 quart non-metal algaecide during daylight hours. If possible, apply the algaecide in the morning, which is when algae feed.
- Wait 12 to 24 hours. If the water is hazy, murky or cloudy, put in a non-chlorine shock (potassium peroxymonosulfate), using the formula 2lbs per 10,000 gallons of pool water. Avoid the non-chlorine shock if the pool is clear.
- Wait 24 hours. If the pool isn’t all the way clear, add another dose of the non-chlorine shock.
- Watch the filter gage pressure, backwash only if there is a pressure rise between 6lbs and 10lbs.
- If the pool is still not clear after a back to back non-chlorine shock, check your filter.